Dell Technologies is exploring an initial public offering or another kind of financial maneuver involving data center software company VMware, Dell said in a regulatory filing on Friday.
The disclosure confirms media reports last week that said Dell was considering going public after operating for roughly five years as a private company.
Dell also said in the filing that it was considering a “business combination” with VMware (VMW), without elaborating. CNBC reported this week that Dell was considering selling itself to VMware in a so-called reverse merger as a way for Dell to be listed on the public markets without having to go through the formalities. At the time, both Dell and VMware declined to comment.
Dell also said on Friday that it could choose to not do a major business deal and instead continue operating as is.
“Nothing has been decided and alternatives are just being considered at this stage,” Dell said in the filing. “While this process continues, it is business as usual for team members, customers and partners with no changes to current structures, practices and processes.”
The company said it would “normally keep our deliberations confidential,” but because it owns about 82% of VMware, it’s required to share some details in a public filing. Dell owns a majority stake in VMware as a result of buying data center conglomerate EMC in 2015 for $67 billion.
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Dell did not say why it is exploring a major deal, but previous media reports have speculated that it is seeking financing to help pay off the $46 billion in debt that it took on as part of its EMC acquisition. The company said in the regulatory filing that it has repaid around $10 billion in debt since closing the EMC acquisition.
Dell CEO Michael Dell has previously called VMware, which sells virtualization software that lets one server perform the tasks of many, the “crown jewel” of the EMC portfolio of companies.
VMware shares are relatively flat in midday trading on Friday at $125.85.